Top 21 Developer Jobs and Career Paths in 2023

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This article will go over the top 21 most attractive developer jobs in the decade to come. Note that the purpose of this article is to look forward to the future rather than looking backward into the past. The future is inherently uncertain but we did everything we could (as you’ll see) to remain objective and use data to guide our predictions.

Here’s a quick tabular overview on the most relevant career paths and jobs you could pursue in the decade to come – if you’re a developer optimizing for the future rather than the past:

Career Path (Job)Annual Income (Low)Annual Income (High)
Blockchain Developer$105,180$108,560
Data Scientist$97,294$135,924
Machine Learning Engineer$112,000$157,000
Deep Learning Engineer$124,000$148,000
Computer Science Researcher$74,210$208,000
Distributed Systems Developer$97,000$169,656
AWS Developer$100,000$130,000
Android App Developer$85,000$126,577
C++ Developer$45,000$140,000
Full-Stack Developer$79,584$108,984
Solidity Developer$60,000$180,000
Python Developer$65,000$82,000
Crypto Bot Developer$70,000$110,000
Azure Developer$107,000$127,000
Game Developer$64,053$115,846
JavaScript Developer$62,000$118,000
Quant Developer$86,528$170,000
Security Engineer$75,732$144,874
Test Automation Engineer$74,821$120,000
VHDL Developer$32,000$169,500
Frontend Developer$61,194$119,224

Okay, let’s dive into the meat—the most promising developer role for the upcoming decade(s)!

Blockchain Developer

A blockchain engineer operates, designs, develops, analyzes, implements, and supports a distributed blockchain network. Blockchain engineers manage specific business models dealing with blockchain technology.

The average annual income of a Blockchain engineer is between $105,180 and $108,560 according to Glassdoor (source):

But is there enough demand? Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

Do you want to become a Blockchain engineer? Here’s a learning path I’d propose in five steps to get started:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Data Scientist

Data scientists use data to find quantifiable answers to questions that often need to be found as well!

For example, they not only find the answer to the question “How can company ABC make more money?” Instead, they may find that a better question to ask would be: “Who are the top 20% of the clients that bring 80% of the revenue, and what do they want in the first place?”

How much does a Data Scientist make per year?

Average Income of a Data Scientist in the US by Source
Figure: Average Income of a Data Scientist in the US by Source. [1]

The average annual income of a Data Scientist in the United States is between $97,294 and $135,924 with an average of $116,505 and a median of $119,413 per year.

But is there enough demand? Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

Clearly, this is a long-term trend you can build your whole career on!

Do you want to become a Data Scientist? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with Data :

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Machine Learning Engineer

A Machine Learning Engineer creates, edits, analyzes, debugs, models, and supervises the development of machine learning models using programming languages such as Python or C++ and machine learning libraries such as Keras or TensorFlow.

How much does a Machine Learning Engineer make per year?

Figure: Average Machine Learning Engineer Income. [1]

The average annual income of a Machine Learning Engineer in the United States is between $112,000 and $157,000 with a median of $131,000 per year according to multiple data sources such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Salary.com, and Payscale.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Deep Learning Engineer

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning using artificial neural network (ANN) models with more than three layers. ANNs are inspired by the behavior of the human brain to enable machines to learn — with the idea to connect neurons with each other via artificial “synapses” and learning is modeled as the collective weights and magnitude of the neural connections.

The average annual income of a Deep Learning Engineer in the United States is between $124,000 and $148,000 based on multiple sources such as Indeed, Ziprecruiter, and Salary.com.

A Deep Learning Engineer creates, edits, analyzes, debugs, and supervises the development of artificial neural networks (ANN) with multiple layers written in programming environments such as Python, TensorFlow, or Keras.

Do you want to become a Deep Learning Engineer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with Deep Learning :

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Computer Science Researcher

A computer science researcher and scientist identifies and answers open research questions in computer science. They apply scientific reasoning and research techniques to push the state-of-the-art forward in various fields such as machine learning, distributed systems, databases, algorithms, and data science.

Six of the most common activities of computer science researchers, based on my own experience:

  • reading research papers,
  • thinking about research questions and problems,
  • identifying research gaps and discussing them with their peers,
  • creating code and software systems for evaluation purposes,
  • writing research papers, and
  • presenting those scientific results at conferences and in journals.

The median annual income (=50th percentile) of a computer science researcher was $131,490 in May 2021. The bottom 10% (=10th percentile) of computer science researchers earned less than $74,210 and the top 10% (=90th percentile) earned more than $208,000.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Distributed Systems Developer

A distributed system is a computer system spread across multiple computing devices connected via a communication network. Each participating device takes over part of the overall work performed by the system. By means of the collaboration of individual units, the system can provide services that each individual system component couldn’t provide on its own.

Some examples of distributed systems are:

  • Ethereum is a distributed system of Ethereum nodes connected via the Internet and a specific communication protocol.
  • Bitcoin is a distributed system of Bitcoin nodes connected via the Internet and a specific communication protocol as defined by the open-source Bitcoin protocol.
  • The World Wide Web is a distributed system of servers connected via IP to provide a coherent web experience via browsers and an HTML-like web experience.

A distributed systems engineer designs, implements, and debugs distributed systems for data storage, crypto & web3, or analytics. The idea is to design a distributed system that can provide a service to users that couldn’t be provided by a centralized system (e.g., providing a decentralized, censorship-free monetary network).

Average Income of a Distributed Systems Engineer in the US by Source.
Figure: Average Income of a Distributed Systems Engineer in the US by Source. [1]

The average annual income of a Distributed Systems Engineer in the United States is between $97,000 and $169,656, with an average of $126,894 and a statistical median of $130,000 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

AWS Developer

An AWS Developer creates, edits, analyzes, debugs, and supervises the development of software written for the AWS cloud services that support many programming languages such as Python or Java.

Learning AWS is one of the most important, most sought-after, and most profitable things you can do as a developer!

The average annual income of an AWS Developer in the United States is $122,799 per year according to ZipRecruiter. Another estimate is provided by Glassdoor that provides data supporting an annual income of AWS Developers of $115,000 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Android App Developer

An Android app developer is a programmer who focuses on software creation for mobile devices such as smartphones or wearables using the Android operating system.

As an Android app developer, your skill set varies depending on the concrete set of applications you’re working on. However, these skills will proof useful no matter what, and most successful Android app developers have these seven skills:

  1. General programming skills (e.g., Java, C++, Python)
  2. Specific app framework skills (e.g., Flutter)
  3. Distributed systems skills
  4. Web development skills (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  5. Design skills (e.g., Photoshop)
  6. Security skills (e.g., SSL encryption)
  7. Soft skills (e.g., communication, presentation, marketing)
Figure: Average Income of an Android App Developer in the US by Source. [1]

The average annual income of an Android App Developer in the United States is between $85,000 and $126,577 with an average of $106,923 and a statistical median of $107,343 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

C++ Developer

As a C++ developer, you create software in the programming language C++ which is among the most widely used programming languages. For example, Google, Amazon, Facebook all employ a large number of C++ developers.

The average annual income of a C++ Developer is between $45,000 and $140,000 according to PayScale with an average of $67,473 in the US based on 31 salary reports (source). But Indeed.com reports an even higher annual C++ developer income of $116,925 based on 480 salaries reported (source).

Do you want to become a C++ Developer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with C++:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Full-Stack Developer

A full-stack web developer works both with back-end and front-end web technologies.

  • The back-end consists of the webserver infrastructure, databases, and code function integration to facilitate a smooth and secure serving of user requests.
  • The front-end focuses on the graphical user interface (GUI) of the website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with the goal of setting up the whole technology stack to enable users to view and interact with the website.

Full-stack developers have skills in all those fields so they often take crucial roles in overseeing the technical implementation of large web projects.

The average annual income of a Full-Stack Web Developer in the United States is between $79,584 and $108,984 with an average income of $98,454 and a median income of $99,274 per year according to our meta-study of 7 aggregated data sources such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

Figure: Average Income of a Full-Stack Developer in the US by Source.
Figure: Average Income of a Full-Stack Developer in the US by Source. [1]

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Solidity Developer

The average annual income of a Solidity Developer is between $60,000 and $180,000 with an average of $100,000 per year (source).

Here are a couple of example jobs for Solidity engineers:

Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

A Solidity developer creates, edits, analyzes, and debugs code in the Solidity programming language used to develop smart contracts for modern Blockchain ecosystems such as Ethereum.

Do you want to become a Solidity Developer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with Solidity:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Python Developer

A Python developer is a programmer who creates software in the Python programming language. Python developers are often involved in data science, web development, and machine learning applications.

A Python developer earns $65,000 (entry-level), $82,000 (mid-level), or $114,000 (experienced) per year in the US according to Indeed. (source)

Do you want to become a Python Developer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with Python:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Crypto Bot Developer

The average annual income of a Crypto Trading Bot Developer is similar to algorithmic traders of $104,422 (source). However, due to the novelty of the industry, there’s little official data. If you assume an hourly rate of $50 and an annual 2000 hours worked, the annual income of a crypto trading bot developer would be $100,000.

Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

Yes, this definitely is an interesting industry for programmers to make $50 per hour and more!

Trading bots are software programs that talk directly to financial exchanges. Crypto trading bots are programs that talk to crypto exchanges. A crypto bot developer develops those programs. Crypto trading bot developers tend to be very proficient in trading, financial algorithms, APIs, and web services.

Do you want to become a Crypto Trading Bot Developer? Here’s a learning path I’d propose in five steps to get started:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Azure Developer

An Azure Developer creates, designs, edits, analyzes, debugs, deploys, and supervises the development of cloud applications written for the Azure cloud and development ecosystem.

The average annual income of an Azure Developer in the United States is $122,031 per year according to Talent.com. Entry-level Azure Developers start with $107,250 per year. Top earners make $127,000 and more in the US according to Glassdoor!

Let’s have a look at Google trends to find out how interest evolves over time (source):

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Game Developer

Game Development is the art of creating games that involves multiple development stages such as game concept generation, game design, game development, game testing, game building, game deployment, and game release.

Game developers and video game developers create code for games in a variety of formats such as desktop-based games (Windows, macOS, Linux), consoles (PS2), web browsers (Chrome, Safari), crypto (Ethereum, Polygon/Optimism, Solana), and mobile phone (iOS, Android).

Figure: Average Income of a Game Developer in the US by Source. [1]

The average annual income of a Game Developer in the United States is between $64,053 and $115,846 with an average of $89,889 and a median of $92,061 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

JavaScript Developer

A JavaScript developer creates dynamic web applications focusing mostly on the front-end logic—but recently some back-end JavaScript frameworks emerged as well. If you like web development and programming user interfaces, you’ll love the work as a JavaScript developer.

The average annual income of a JavaScript Developer is between $62,000 and $118,000 with an average of $84,000 per year according to Daxx.com and PayScale (source).

Do you want to become a JavaScript Developer? Here’s a step-by-step learning path I’d propose to get started with JavaScript and web development:

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Quant Developer

A quantitative developer (i.e., Quant) is a financial programmer focused on financial modeling and quantitative finance and trading.

Quants use their profound knowledge of

  • statistics and math,
  • finance,
  • data structures,
  • algorithms,
  • machine learning,
  • scientific computing,
  • data science,
  • chart technique, and
  • data visualization

to create models for financial prediction, backtesting, analysis, and implementation of trading and financial applications (e.g., for risk management).

Figure: Average Income of a Quant Developer in the US by Source.
Figure: Average Income of a Quant Developer in the US by Source. [1]

The expected annual income of a Quantitative Developer (Quant) in the United States is between $86,528 and $170,000 per year, with an average annual income of $127,375 per year and a median income of $136,321 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Security Engineer

A security engineer is a “white-hat hacker”, i.e., an IT professional who analyzes computer systems and computer networks to ensure they are running securely. This involves proactive analysis and understanding of possible security threats and attack vectors and designing the system to minimize the exposure to these threats.

Figure: Average Income of a Security Engineer in the US by Source. [1]

The average annual income of a Security Engineer in the United States is between $75,732 and $144,874, with an average of $108,851 and a statistical median of $105,928 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Test Automation Engineer

A Test Automation Engineer is a software developer who creates automated software tests for existing or new applications. Testing is a crucial phase in the software development cycle to learn about bugs, usability, and security issues and fix them before deploying an application in the real world.

Average Income of a Test Automation Engineer in the US by Source.
Figure: Average Income of a Test Automation Engineer in the US by Source. [1]

The expected annual income of a Test Automation Engineer in the United States is between $74,821 and $120,000 per year, with an average annual income of $95,285 per year and a median income of $93,657 per year.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

VHDL Developer

A VHDL Developer developer creates, edits, analyzes, debugs, and supervises the development of software written in the VHDL programming language. VHDL is the other popular hardware description language. In fact, most professionals who know VHDL also know Verilog.

The annual income of a VHDL developer in the US can be as high as $169,500 and as low as $32,000 according to Ziprecruiter (source). Most VHDL developer make between $65,000 (25th percentile) and $135,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $157,500 annually across the United States.

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Frontend Developer

A web developer is a programmer who specializes in the development of websites or applications viewed on web browsers, mobile devices, and large desktop screens that are transported over private or public networks such as the Internet.

A front-end web developer focuses on the graphical user interface (GUI) of the website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with the goal of setting up the whole technology stack to enable users to view and interact with the website.

The average annual income of a Front-end Web Developer in the United States is between $61,194 and $119,224 with an average income of $89,683 and a median income of $90,499 per year according to our meta-study of 8 aggregated data sources such as Glassdoor and Indeed.

The following graphic shows the individual data sources, as well as the average and median income level of a web developer in the US:

Average Income of a Front-End Web Developer in the US by Source
Figure: Average Income of a Front-End Web Developer in the US by Source. [1]

🌎 Learn More: You can find out more about this career path in my full article on the Finxter blog.

Summary

This article has shown you the top career choices for developers in the upcoming decade:

Feel free to join our free email academy to stay tuned and informed in many of those fields!

Programmer Humor – Blockchain

“Blockchains are like grappling hooks, in that it’s extremely cool when you encounter a problem for which they’re the right solution, but it happens way too rarely in real life.” source xkcd

Where to Go From Here?

Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!

Coders get paid six figures and more because they can solve problems more effectively using machine intelligence and automation.

To become more successful in coding, solve more real problems for real people. That’s how you polish the skills you really need in practice. After all, what’s the use of learning theory that nobody ever needs?

You build high-value coding skills by working on practical coding projects!

Do you want to stop learning with toy projects and focus on practical code projects that earn you money and solve real problems for people?

🚀 If your answer is YES!, consider becoming a Python freelance developer! It’s the best way of approaching the task of improving your Python skills—even if you are a complete beginner.

If you just want to learn about the freelancing opportunity, feel free to watch my free webinar “How to Build Your High-Income Skill Python” and learn how I grew my coding business online and how you can, too—from the comfort of your own home.

Join the free webinar now!